The 12th Annual FIU Scholarship Fishing Tournament, presented by TotalBank, was bursting with Panther Pride as guests gathered at the Sea Isle Marina for a day of fun in the sun. With a variety of activities to enjoy, the day’s proceeds went directly to the FIU Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, benefitting Panther Pride and Legacy scholarship recipients.
Attendees enjoyed paella and ceviche courtesy of Casablanca and drinks courtesy of Rum Diplomatico, Pama, Lunazul Tequila and B.R.E.W. FIU, who had a professor come out to offer samples of class-made brews. The crowd enjoyed a fun mix of music provided by STR Miami, and attendees were able to take silly photos at the FIU-themed photo booth. Children got to check out a sea creature touch tank and participate in a kid’s fishing tournament.
Burnie, the Miami Heat mascot, joined the crowd in cheering on 25 teams of fishermen who had set sail early that morning in hopes of reeling in the catch of the day and claiming their victory prize. Once the teams returned, the weigh-in station stole the show as the crowd anxiously waited to hear the results.
“This year we were able to award 33 students with scholarships. It is the highest number of scholarships we have ever been able to give out. It is an amazing feeling to see the number of recipients go up each year as a result of this event,” said Alumni Association Executive Director Duane Wiles. “It is critical for students to have scholarships to be able to pursue an education. To be part of helping meet that shortfall is a good feeling.”
Two teams shared Wiles’ sentiments about that good feeling. Team DWI, which had the largest aggregate dolphin weight, donated half of its $2,000 winnings. Jorge Hernandez, representing the Ocean Bank team that won, was gracious enough to donate back the team’s prize of $250 as well.
This year, the fishing tournament was able to award $27,000 in scholarships to a record 33 recipients. The funds raised during this year’s event will go toward awarding recipients in 2015. These funds include the donations made by Team DWI and Team Ocean Bank.
To learn more about the Scholarship Fund and how you can donate, visit FIUalumni.com.
This year’s FIU Scholarship Fishing Tournament winners are:
Most Aggregate Dolphin Weight: Team DWI – 36 lb. ($2,000 and a trophy courtesy of Fishbone Design)
Largest Dolphin: Ekman & Co. (Jorge Castillo) – 29.4 lbs. ($2,000 and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
Largest Fun Fish: Team Hawkeye Fishing (Josh Dull) – 23.5 lbs. ($250 presented by Aurora Plumbing and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
Largest Ladies’ Dolphin: Team Offshore Addiction (Ana Nardo) – 11.3 lbs. ($500 presented by Okuma and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
Largest Junior Dolphin: Team Legacy (Dia Bell) – 6.5 lbs. ($100 gift certificate to Hopkins Carter and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
2nd Place Most Aggregate Dolphin Weight: Team Legacy – 22.3 lbs. ($500 presented by Compass Office Solutions and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
2nd Place Largest Dolphin: Team Ocean Bank (Jorge Hernandez) – 19.1 lbs. ($250 presented by Gonzalez Lage, P.A. and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
2nd Place Largest Junior Dolphin: Team TotalBank 2 (Nicole Diaz) – 5.9 lbs. ($50 gift certificate to Hopkins Carter and plaque courtesy of Custom Quality Framing)
– Ladinela Lopez